Mother’s Day Sucks When Your Mom Is Gone


Mother’s Day sucks. There, I said it! I fully admit it. It shouldn’t. I’m the proud and lucky mom of two great kids, a girl, 10, and a boy, 4. They are my life, my joy, and I couldn’t imagine my world without them.


But see, I belong to this club, the one that no one ever wants to be a part of.

 I’m a card-carrying member of the “my mother is dead and it sucks club.”

There are many of us, and aside from that first few days of grief that most allow us, no one cares. No one gets it, except us “lucky” ones. I should be excited that the flowers are blooming and my family wants to take me out to a really expensive brunch, buy me flowers and fuss over me for a few hours (NOT ALL DAY just a few hours.)

But the month of May rolls around and all I can think is, here we go again.

My mother died six years ago this coming June 5th. Mother’s Day brunch was the LAST big event I spent with my mom.

She had breast cancer and it was stage 4, but her doctors at the time called her a lifer – someone who could live many more years with the disease as long as it was managed with the proper meds. We all bought this line of bull because this story kept her in a positive frame of mind.

I always knew in the back of my mind that this wasn’t the case, but I kept up the story too – for her, for those around us. But I never thought, never dreamed, that THAT Mother’s Day brunch would be the last one. Do we ever really stop to think, oh this may be the last time I see a person?  No. We take it all for granted. You just assume there is going to be another.

When she did go downhill physically, it went REALLY fast.

Shortly after that Mother’s Day, she fell and had to go to the hospital.

Three weeks later she was gone.

Memorial Day weekend is a hard one too because every year I mentally relive those last days. Her in her hospital room, just slipping. Nothing we could do but wait for her to go.

Some days, I forget she’s gone. For a split second I’ll think, oh, I should call my mom, and then remember I can’t. It never goes away, this emptiness. You just sort of get used to it. Like you do a scar on your knee or the wrinkles under your eyes. They’re there and you can try to cover them up, treat them with creams, wish them away, but they’re here to stay.

Once Mother’s day, Memorial Day, and the anniversary of her death passes, I kind of go back into my normal mode. I don’t relive it as much. I don’t dwell as much. But it’s always there. As a mom to young children, it’s hard to have them grow up without, “Grandma.” My daughter was only 4 when she died and my son never met her. He never met her. That’s so hard for me to think about sometimes.

When a friend or acquaintance starts complaining about their mom, I nod my head and listen.

Mother's Day momCave dina

But part of me wants to slap them! How dare they take her for granted! Don’t they know how lucky they are to have her around to complain about? But they don’t get it. They’re not a part of “THE CLUB.”

I wish they could be more GRATEFUL for what they do have.

Then I think about how I need to be GRATEFUL. Grateful that I had her and knew her, that she loved me and I loved her, that she was my first and best friend, and that she helped me to be the mom I am today.

And then I think back to this coming Mother’s Day and how I need to be grateful for my kids and honor them.

Someday they’ll be in the club too, hopefully not as soon as I was. I hope to be 95 and have them complain about me to their friends. I want them to remember our Mother’s Day’s together and feel good about them. Even if it IS the hardest day of the year for me.

This post, by Dina Drew Duva, originally appeared on


  1. I could have wrote this myself. My mom passed away unexpectedly 2 years ago, one month after I gave birth to my twins. Since then, about a week before Mother’s Day I start to get very emotional. My mom was my best friend, and I am so envious of people that still have their mother or even their grandmother still with them. It is true that the pain never leaves. You just get used to it.

  2. I remember vividly the first Mother’s Day without my Mom. She always sent me a card and flowers each year That year there would be none of that. I walked into a Walgreen’s and went back to the pharmacy through the card aisle. And right then and right there the reality of it all slapped me in the face and I burst into tears. I no longer had a mother to buy a card for. Sobbing uncontrollably I left the store and went home. I relive that moment each year. Sadness washes over me as my son wants to celebrate but I don’t want to. I walk a tightrope of trying to be happy for my son while I am hiding my own personal pain that people think I should be over. I too urge friends to not take having their mom present in their lives for granted. I urge them to call or go to dinner – just because. What I wouldn’t give to have just one more phone call with my mom.

  3. Thank you so much for writing this. This is exactly how I feel as well. I lost my mother 1.5yrs ago to breast cancer (quickly). It is a hard day for sure … I am hoping to do stuff that makes me happy (go for a long walk, drink delicious coffee and look at old pictures of her). Sending lots of love your way ??

  4. Thank you for writing this, and I’m sorry for your loss. I am a member of The Club and I know how much it hurts. My story is a little different, though. I lost my mother to cancer 20 years ago this upcoming year, when I was 15 and she was 46. My mother truly was my best friend, and I was beyond lucky to have her for that time, but there has been an unfillable hole in my heart ever since she died, and it was always deepest on Mother’s Day. That was a day I didn’t work, didn’t acknowledge the other mothers in my life for a long time…I shut down and grieved every year for almost two decades. The author of this piece is right – absolutely no one can understand, unless you’re a member of The Club. Then, in December of 2017, I had my son. Even this, which should have been the most joyous of events, was tinged with sadness because she wasn’t there in the delivery room to hold my hand, and she wasn’t there to comfort me when my son was transferred to the regional children’s hospital to spend a week in the NICU shortly afterwards. Such is the experience of a motherless daughter. But, I can say that my first Mother’s Day as a mom was upgraded from severely depressing to bittersweet; my mother made a habit of telling and showing me, for as long as I can remember, how loved and treasured I was, and when I well up with emotion for my son, I can finally appreciate the love she had for me, because I feel it for him every day. On Mother’s Day now, I am still a daughter missing her mother, but now I am also a mother loving and being loved by her son. And every day, the many actions of being a mother dull the pain of the loss – I can now live by her example, and try to love, nurture, teach, comfort, and care for my son at the level that she did for me. It’s been years since I’ve had her here with me, but the 15 years I had with her gave me the best parts of myself, and left an indelible mark on my heart. I pray I do my job well enough that my son can say the same after I’m gone.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there, here with us, and in Heaven. You are loved.

  5. Somebody always has it worse. While it’s painful to not have a mother, I don’t have a mother, a father, a spouse, a sibling or children. When my mom died, I lost the last of my family. I read your article and thought, “Wow, she’s lucky. She has a family.” I don’t. Do you know what it’s like to be totally alone? Not a single family member to hug you and love you? Count your blessings this Mother’s Day.

    • Oh my Sue, I am so so sorry to hear I was wallowing in my tears since I lost my mother also, and my father, and one sister, but I still have 2 handsome boys, which are now grown men, my husband and 3 beautiful sisters. I truly don’t know how I would get through all of it without them. (hugs)

  6. Oh Wow. It will be one year ago on the 16th that my mom died. She had breast cancer too and the doctors said she would live at least another year or two even after the long over due CT showed a mass in her lung, liver and bone. They still said about a year to 18 months. 3 mos later, 4 days after mother’s day…gone.

  7. May 10,2020 quarantined but have been mentally quarantined for 6 yrs on Mother’s Day. Tomorrow is the 7th Anniversary of my dads passing, and the next day is my late natural fathers birthday. Then we get my husbands birthday on Thursday he is still here but he’s different he’s changed, he’ll be 69 has had life saving heart surgery but we aren’t is like we used to be. So yes Mother’s Day sucks. I will go and enjoy the dinner planned by our daughter and revel in the blessings of her, my adorable grand, and a son in law that is amazing. I pray for y’all grieving, missing, wanting. Me to.


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